Ronald Koeman tells Romelu Lukaku he needs to leave Everton in order to fulfil his potential

Ross McLean
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Lukaku has scored 68 goals in 137 appearances for Everton (Source: Getty)

Everton boss Ronald Koeman admits that striker Romelu Lukaku will have to leave Goodison Park and sign for a bigger club if he is to fulfil his potential.

Former Chelsea hitman Lukaku, who joined Everton for a club record £28m in July 2014 after an initial loan spell, was heavily linked with a move away from Merseyside during the summer transfer window.

The 23-year-old stayed put and has scored seven of the 15 goals Everton have netted in the Premier League this term, although Koeman has fanned the flames of a renewed transfer saga.

“His potential is greater and higher than Everton as a final destination,” said Koeman. “If Romelu was to play at Everton until the end of his career, I know he has left something behind.

“I gave him confidence and he has himself recognised that it was good for his development to play another year at Everton. What comes after this season, no-one knows.”

Lukaku, who is under contract at Everton until 2019, has scored 68 goals in 137 appearances for the Toffees, while his 50 top-flight strikes puts him third on the club’s list of all-time top Premier League scorers.